A selection of past events

Chromosome Walk, a saunter along the human genome (2008)

This exhibition was created to celebrate SIB’s 10th anniversary. It was an outside exhibition and was shown in different parts of Switzerland and France. Visitors were invited to discover a number of panels which described fascinating stories about the human genome and bioinformatics.
Following the success of the Chromosome Walk exhibition, SIB decided to design a virtual version of it: www.ChromosomeWalk.ch. This web site is updated regularly and immerses its visitors into the world of DNA, proteins and bioinformatics, taking them on an interactive journey into the heart of our chromosomes.

xmosome walk neuchatelGeneva botanical gardens, 2008.


Expanding your Horizons (2015)

"Expanding your Horizons - Geneva" (EYH) held its 4th bi-annual event for girls aged 11 to 14 living in the Geneva area. SIB presented its “Metagenomic pizza”. Girls were also shown how to identify the cook (gender, Asian or European origin...) who prepared the pizza. EYH is a network of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) professionals, educators, parents, community leaders and government representatives spread across the world.

University of Geneva, 2015 (the girls are looking at the printed DNA sequence of human chromosome 21 in book form: 1470 pages and 48’129’895 nucleotides long).



SIB took part in an exhibition organized by the University of Geneva, and paired with the Swiss Academy of Sciences’ itinerant exhibition to mark its 200th anniversary. SIB offered activities related to its Drug Design Workshop. Visitors were invited to design a drug whose effects are similar to those of the well-known aspirin, but which has fewer side effects.

Plaine de Plainpalais, Geneva 2015


LAB/LIFE exhibition of the Musée de la Main (Lausanne 2015)

Visitors discovered various SIB bioinformatics tools that are used in the field of drug design. They also tried their hand at designing molecules with properties that were improved when compared to existing ones currently used in the treatment of melanoma.



Nuit de la Science (Geneva)

SIB has been part of the popular science fair – ‘Nuit de la Science’ – since it started in 2000. Over a weekend on the edge of Lake Geneva, about 30’000 visitors are given the opportunity to meet 400 scientists and enthusiasts from 70 institutions scattered across the region.

The 2016 theme of ‘Nuit de la Science’ was: The Rules of the Game. The SIB booth presented activities around its Drug Design Workshop. Visitors were introduced – in a simple yet realistic way – to the world of bioinformatics, and how a drug is designed today. This gave them the opportunity to discover the rules of the docking game and the concept of personalized medicine. SIB also took part in two ‘Goûters des Sciences’ during which SIB collaborators gave a small talk on the notion of drug design, followed by a question and answer session with the public.

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Nuit de la Science, SIB booth 2016


The 2014 theme of “Nuit de la Science” was “tout ce qui brille n’est pas or” ('all that shines is not gold...'). SIB offered several activities on the 3D structures of bioluminescent proteins.

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                                                                                                      Nuit de la Science, SIB booth 2014


Mystères de l’UNIL (Lausanne)

Every year, almost 10,000 people – counting 2,200 school children – take part in the University of Lausanne’s open house. Over 300 researchers, including SIB researchers, offer visitors workshops and guided tours around their laboratories that delight young and old alike.

The 2016 edition of “Les Mystères de l’UNIL » was on “Living in town”. Over 450 visitors – 300 of whom were school children – discovered with great interest and enthusiasm the SIB booth. With the help of metagenomics, they were able to find out how to identify the different animal, fungal or plant species that are present in the air we breathe. The species identified were then classed according to a simplified representation of the tree of life. Examples of current metagenomics research were also discussed with those who wished to know a little more.

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Mystères de l’UNIL, University of Lausanne, SIB booth 2016


The 2014 edition of Les "Mystères de l'UNIL" was on the theme “TKITOI? (“Who are you? The inside adventure.”). SIB was at the heart of two events:

  1. Journey into a tiny world”, the tale of two proteins read by the actress Rachel Gordy
  2. “Draw someone’s ‘portrait’ with DNA”. From the nucleus of a huge cell, visitors pick out random human DNA sequences which, they are told, belong to one person. By comparing them with a “paper” databank of sequences, they are then able to draw the person’s hypothetical portrait, i.e. possibly dark eyes, dark hair, Asian, resistant to alcohol or carrier of the smallpox virus for instance. The idea is to show that genetic combination is infinite, that every human being is unique... and that much is still to be discovered in the field of genetics and bioinformatics.
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                                                                        Mystères de l’UNIL, University of Lausanne, SIB booth 2014